Who are we?

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Talita is a non-profit organization offering help and support to women who have been exploited in prostitution, pornography or human trafficking for sexual purposes. We operate in both Sweden and Mongolia. Our work is built on Christian foundations and we strive after a holistic approach to each woman’s situation. We have formed a method for rehabilitation that consists of:

  1. A safe house
  2. Trauma therapy
  3. Education
  4. Planning for the future
  5. Transition to independent living and studies/work

Each of these five items represents an equally important aspect of Talita’s long-term program (one year and four months). Beyond this we also offer acute help and protection for shorter periods of time when authorities send a woman to us. We work very closely with Stockholm Police’s Prostitution Group and their social worker, the Human trafficking department, and the County Government in Stockholm (Länsstyrelsen).

One aspect that differentiates Talita from many other safe houses is that we receive clients on a 24/7 basis. Our ambition is to see each woman as a whole person and be a support to her the entire way, regardless of where she has been exploited in the world, and regardless of whether someone pays for her placement with us or not. In other words, money does not determine our decision to take in a woman—it is totally dependent on her own motivation and desire for a transformed life.

Women that have been subject to human trafficking and end up in Sweden seldom have access to support in Sweden or back in their home country. They may have come to Sweden after having been sold between different countries. However, if there is evidence that they have been brought to Sweden for the purpose of sexual exploitation, there is a high risk of them not receiving asylum and being sent back to their home country.

The women’s needs are great. When we first come into contact with them, we deal with their acute needs like food and clothing. Eventually, we try to determine a safe place they can return to in their home country. Sometimes, when returning to their home country is not a feasible solution, we help them find work that can lead to a work permit in Sweden.

Mika clinics (Mikamottagningarna) in Stockholm, Gothenburg, and Malmö provide services for women and men in prostitution. These range from outreach work, to therapy, to helping the individuals contact authorities, and so on. Talita aims to complement these services.

Vision

Vision

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Talita means ‘little girl’ and comes from a story in the Bible when Jesus stands beside a girl’s deathbed and says ‘little girl, I say to you, get up’ (talita koum)-- and the girl rises up. Our vision is that each woman and girl who has been exploited in the sex trade is able to rise up to a new life.

Talita’s motto is to see the whole person, help her the entire way, regardless of where she has been exploited and regardless of whether or not someone pays for her placement at Talita.

Mission

Mission

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Human trafficking is a modern form of slavery and prostitution and pornography are forms of men’s violence against women and children. Talita’s mission is to prevent the sex trade in all forms by offering our target group the possibility of experiencing inner healing and a transformed life.

Our mission is not completed when the woman moves out from our accommodation; our mission is only complete when the woman has experienced a transformed life.

Values

Values

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Talita is built on Christian values. In every person, we see someone who:

  • is worthy to be loved and treated with respect, interest, high regard, and without judgment
  • has a free will that must be upheld, heard, and respected
  • is created with a unique purpose
  • has basic needs of a physical, mental, psychological, social, intellectual, and spiritual nature

Talita’s ambition is to create an environment where the target groups’ specific needs can be met, and to provide healing from trauma and reorientation that promotes positive personal development for the future. We welcome anyone who falls within our target group, regardless of ethnic background, social status, religion, sexual orientation, or political opinion. We aspire to create a safe place where vulnerable people feel welcome and new hope is formed.

History

History

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Josephine and Anna, the founders of Talita, have been involved in work supporting and helping women and children in prostitution for many years. In 1996, Anna was engaged in social outreach work among women in prostitution in Amsterdam. Josephine saw the child sex trade firsthand during her work in the Philippines and as a lawyer at ECPAT Sweden when she conducted a study about the child sex trade in Sweden (2002), among other things.

For four years (1998-2002) we worked together in a social outreach project among women in prostitution in Stockholm called ‘The Bus Project’, operated by a church in Stockholm. Through this experience, we came into contact with hundreds of women who struggled with addictions and/or prostitution.

Through The Bus Project, we offered women immediate assistance in the form of community, warmth, food and clothing every Friday night in the city. When it came to women struggling with addiction, we were able to help them find different rehabilitation options. However, rehabilitation efforts for women in prostitution, who did not have an addiction, were difficult to access. In response to the need we saw, we began an education in trauma therapy, with a focus on abuse and other forms of trauma. We officially started Talita in 2004 and completed our education in summer 2006.

In the fall of 2009, Talita received its own premises in the south of Stockholm, and we began to work full time, while our social worker, Christine, began part time. Initially, we worked primarily with counselling and trauma therapy, and organized group education and craft workshops to provide women the opportunity to express themselves creatively. In time, more women caught in the sex trade found their way to Talita through churches, organizations, lawyers, as well as through our collaboration with another safe house. Villa Talita, the safe house for our target group, was opened in September 2012.

Staff

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Teamwork is essential for Talita’s work to function effectively. Excellent cooperation among the staff leads to high-quality care for the clients. Our staff team at Talita in Sweden consists of:

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Anna

Founder, trauma therapist and licensed pharmacist with many years of experience in educational training and competence building.
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Josephine

Founder, trauma therapist and lawyer specialized in human rights and experience in working against the child sex trade
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Meghan

Support worker and responsible for volunteers with earlier experience working at a safe house and conducting research on prostitution, pornography and human trafficking.
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Christine

Social worker with a diplomacy in tactile stimulation therapy, with earlier experience in outreach work as well as work at a safe house.
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Sofia

Support worker and responsible for outreach among Romanian women in prostitution in Stockholm with earlier experience working with orphan children in Romania